Looking for Mr. Green

Topics: Human rights, Black people, African American Pages: 5 (1557 words) Published: February 29, 2012
Justice and Human Rights

I choose the topic Justice and Human Rights because I find so many deviations of rights experienced by African-American society in this story. As we know, Human rights are “basic rights and freedoms that all people are entitled to regardless of nationality, sex, national or ethnic origin, race, religion, language, or other status.” Human rights are conceived as universal and egalitarian, with all people having equal rights by virtue of being human. These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national and international law. This has a relation to justice, a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, fairness, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics.

Justice and human rights violations often happen to the minority, this phenomenon is almost happen in all place in the world. The minorities always get the mistreatment by the majorities. Government, which has a power to control this phenomenon, still deemed less effective. The human rights violations often occur.

The violation of justice and human rights often associated with racial problems. Yet, this problem is considered very sensitive, especially in big country like United States of America, French, etc. they treat minorities and also immigrants with inappropriate, although now there are laws that protect this problem, but the minorities and immigrants are still often feel unfairly by the state.

The story ‘Looking for Mr. Green’ took place in Chicago in the depressed time 1930s, when the justice and human rights problems were rife in that era. The protagonist of this story is George Grebe, a thirty five year old lecturer of classical languages, in his new job of delivering relief checks to disabled people in the black district. We know from the dialogue that commonly, white people can’t be accepted in the black area, but because his life has been affected by the crisis he accepts that job.

Grebe is feeling thankful for his new job and wants to do his best, though his supervisor practically told him that he is neither required nor expected to work very hard. The greatest difficulty in Grebe’s job is finding the people whom the checks are addressed. As a white stranger he is suspicious in the black district where the people would not tell anyone anything. It is a chilly late November day and Grebe cannot find Mr. Tulliver Green. He inquires of a nearby grocer, the janitor of the building where Mr. Green is supposed to live, and several neighbors. He has difficulties in convincing people that he is not a cop or bill collector and that he only wants to deliver a check to Mr. Green.

Grebe is feeling sorry that he did not study the files of the people so that he would at least know something about them which would help him find them. When he asked Mr. Raynor about it, the supervisor made it obvious that he does not think it necessary to know anything about the people. The district where Grebe finds himself is a maze of half-collapsed houses, no light, dark small yards, and dirty allies. The apartments are often crowded with as many as twenty people who sometimes even use the beds in shifts. As Grebe learns from an Italian grocer, it is a place where people do all kinds of crimes and abominations without even police being able to stop them from it.

Then the story is flashback to the moment when the first time Grebe’s job interview, when he was interviewed by his supervisor, they are interrupted by an uproar in the office caused by the poor woman named Staika the ‘Blood Mother of Federal State.’ She was born in the States to immigrants from the East; her husband was a gassed veteran from French with lungs weaker. She has no other means to support herself and her six children than to donor her blood at hospitals in exchange for money. She came to the relief office to protest. The relief will not pay her electric bill, so she brought her ironing board...
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